By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Musical crime solvers help neighbors make positive choices.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show intends to entertain rather than to educate.
Every story shows kids that actions sometimes have unintended consequences, even when intentions are good, and that it's important to make amends for your mistakes. Rastamouse solves problems through effective communication, explaining the wrongdoing and reasoning with the person responsible to change his or her way. Strong stereotyping of people of Caribbean in linguists and behavior, which has drawn some criticism.
Positive Role Models
Rastamouse and his friends are intuitive crime solvers who look out for their community's best interests. When they discover a problem that's causing trouble for someone else, they get to the bottom of it and encourage a better decision instead, turning bad things to good.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rastamouse is an engaging British animated series about a group of musical mice who solve crimes in their spare time. It's garnered criticism for the representations of its Caribbean-inspired cast of mice characters who speak in an extreme patois style, saying things like "me so hot" and "me not know what to do." While not intentionally, it might suggest to kids that such linguistics are common among all people of that heritage. That said, the show is a delightful watch with bold scenery, stop-motion animation, and reggae music. Rastamouse and his friends follow clues to uncover the source of troubles that arise in their town and help people make better decisions that help, rather than inconvenience, people.
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What's the Story?
RASTAMOUSE is set in a bustling community of mice where friends and bandmates Rastamouse (voiced by Reggie Yates), Scratchy (Sharon Duncan Brewster), and Zoomer (William Vanderpuye) -- a.k.a Da Easy Crew -- split their time between playing music and solving crimes. When President Wensley Dale (Cornell John) calls on the talented trio, they drop what they're doing and jump into action, piecing clues to get to the root of the problem so they can find a more constructive way to proceed. With justice restored, the group gets back to their favorite pastime -- playing smooth tunes for their friends.
Is It Any Good?
This darling show is nearly as fun for adults to watch as the intended kid audience, thanks to the bold animation and the charming characters' experiences. Mouseland is a place where everyone helps each other, where errors are set right by logic and reasoning, and where friends are always easy to find or make. Even better, Rastamouse's focus on "making bad tings good" means there's a constructive lesson about forgiveness and redemption in every story.
Controversy surrounding the characters' linguistics is inevitable because it is such a prominent part of this show's unique style, but just because the representation exists doesn't mean it has to offend. The speech patterns reflect the Caribbean-inspired heritage of the characters, providing parents a good opportunity to teach kids about diversity. That said, don't be surprised if yours repeat some of the words and phrases they hear between Rastamouse and his mice friends on the show.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the characters in Rastamouse speak. Did you find it difficult to understand what they said at times? Do you know anyone who has an accent?
Rastamouse helps his neighbors make better choices by pointing out what they've done wrong. How does it feel to have someone give you criticism? What value is there in realizing your mistakes?
Does this show's animation style serve it well? Do you like the music the characters play? How do factors like these affect whether or not you like a series?
- Premiere date: January 31, 2011
- Cast: Reggie Yates, Sharon Duncan Brewster, William Vanderpuye
- Networks: Kids Central, Kidstream, CBeebies
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Music and Sing-Along
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: April 4, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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